Posted on Jul 12, 2021
Today, we met in person for the first time since 9 March 2020!

For the time being, we are meeting at Christ Church, 561 Springfield Ave in Summit.  Lunch was catered by Zappia’s - it was delicious and there were enough leftovers to fill many doggie bags.  About one half of the members were in attendance, but at least ten members were unable to attend due to prior conflicts and other sundry issues.

The room we were in has a grand piano and we are fortunate to have a master pianist, maestro Susan Haig, who played while we sang our SNP Rotary anthem and happy birthday to Joe Steiner (who tried to hide the fact it was his birthday, but he was outed).

We met, not on Zoom, but in person, two new members, Adenilson Franczak & Leigh DelPorto.  Leigh works for M&T Bank and Adenilson, who just became an American citizen, is a Brazilian transplant.

Christie Hodde won the 50/50 and breaking all SNP Rotary rules donated her winnings to the scholarship fund.  Speaking of the scholarship fund, Happy Sad dollars generated a recent, if not all time, record collection of $330 – there were a lot of Happy Rotarians – probably had something to do with not meeting on Zoom and being able to schmooze again.

We also had a great speaker, Jon Bramnick, assemblyman for the 21st district of New Jersey.  Jon is the Republican leader of the NJ assembly and well known as a raconteur.  Jon chose to talk about a serious subject he knew was on everyone’s mind, discourse amidst political polarization. He said it was possible to have dialogue but only if there were willing participants which he believes there are – it’s just tricky and requires a lot of effort to keep channels open.  He also said having two viable parties is essential to prevent really bad legislation which usually originates from the far sides of either party and if one party is totally dominant, the legislation can pass even if the vast majority of delegates know it is bad legislation.  He annotated his presentation with several amusing (and a few not so amusing) anecdotes about various topics ranging from gerrymandering to the power of ‘political bosses’ (they exist).  We had a robust Q&A session and Jon was responsive to all questions, as he always has been at his past visits to Rotary.  We appreciate the generous amount of time Jon spent with us.

We will reassemble in two weeks and hope to see those who couldn’t attend today.